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Gov. Rod Blagojevich press release for July 2, 2008

Wednesday, Jul 2, 2008

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today called on the General Assembly to return to Springfield on July 9 and July 10 to fix the shortfall in the Fiscal Year 2009 budget passed by the General Assembly in May. Last week, the Governor urged the House to return on its own to pass revenue bills already passed by the Senate, but the House leadership has not taken any action.

“Yesterday we started another Fiscal Year without a state budget. Last week I told the General Assembly that I would not sign a budget bill with a $2 billion shortfall – Illinoisans must be able to trust that our checks will not bounce. Since the House Democratic leaders have failed to call the House back to Springfield to pass these revenues, I must do the responsible thing for the state and call them back myself,” Governor Blagojevich said.

On July 9, the Governor will convene a special session of the General Assembly to address the revenue bills necessary to balance the budget, including the Hastert-Poshard Illinois Works Capital plan which will put 600,000 Illinoisans to work and to pass fund transfer legislation that would free up $530 million to support spending. If the House does not act on July 9, the Governor will issue a second proclamation for July 10 to take action on any budget balancing steps he must take. The second proclamation will also ask the General Assembly to address the drafting error included in HB5701 to ensure that 39 current Capital Development Board (CDB) projects are not idled and that funding for CDB emergency projects is available.

“If the House fails to act on July 9, I will be forced to take all action necessary to eliminate the $2 billion budget deficit. I will not take those actions lightly, and will only act when it becomes abundantly clear that the House can’t or won’t act responsibly on its own,” said Governor Blagojevich, adding that lawmakers would be acting irresponsibly if they override the vetoes.

To balance the operating budget, which is constitutionally required, the Governor called on the House to pass several key pieces of legislation previously approved by the Senate:

Illinois Works

Passing the State’s first capital plan in nine years will not only create more than 600,000 jobs and fix the State’s aging infrastructure, but it will also generate additional resources, including an estimated $280 million in new tax and fee revenues, and will eliminate operating appropriations that are used to support projects in the capital bill, freeing up $320 million from the operating budget. (HB1496 – Lottery; HB 2651 – Gaming; HB4723 – Bond Authorization; HB6339 – Capital Appropriations; HB5618 – Hospital Capital/Urban Economic Development)

Pass fund transfers

The Senate’s legislation will allow the state to transfer a surplus of $530 million from other state funds into the general fund, as it did from FY03 through FY07. (SB790)

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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